cat63 (cat63) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 55 for 2009

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Brick Lane is the story of Nazneen, who at 18 enters an arranged marriage with an older man who takes her from her home village in Bangladesh to Tower Hamlets in London. It also tells, through letters, the story of Nazneen's sister Hasina and, obliquely, of their parents' marriage.

Somehow, I feel I should have liked this book more than I did. There were long passages that seemed to drag badly even when things were actually happening and the author seemed to keep the reader remote from events rather than making them immediate and touching. Even at the most painful moments in her characters' lives there seems to be little or no emotion in the writing, so I found it hard to empathise with them. Much of what happened was implied rather than spelled out, which isn't always a bad thing, but at times I felt I was scrabbling to understand what was really going on.

I usually enjoy stories about different cultures and I'd been looking forward to reading this one, but I found it rather disappointing.
Tags: modern lit

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